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Chris Mack, Louisville players praise Tyrese Maxey and Nick Richards following overtime loss

Following Louisville’s overtime loss to Kentucky on Saturday night, head coach Chris Mack was not bashful in giving credit where credit was due regarding UK’s top two performers: Tyrese Maxey and Nick Richards.

Mack said he knew going into the game that Maxey, who managed a career-high 27 points, was going to give his team fits as a pure scorer.

“He’s good. We knew that coming in,” Mack said of the Kentucky star freshman. “You know, he’s an explosive scorer. A lot of scorers, sometimes they take difficult shots. But at the same time, we knew he was going to take them. Guys like that don’t lose their confidence easily. He is just a challenge.”

Mack said his team gave him far too many open looks, and Maxey found a way to capitalize.

“A couple of the threes he hit, we didn’t do a good enough job in transition of getting back and getting matched up,” he said. “You can’t play, in my opinion—at least my team can’t, maybe other teams can—an open court game with Kentucky and feel like you’re going to be the victor. So, we did a much better job of boxing them in in the half-court and playing half-court basketball. He’s good. And his pull-up game, his ability to make threes today was better than it’s been. But we knew what he was capable of.”

Louisville forward Dwayne Sutton said the Cardinals struggled to pressure Maxey and make him feel uncomfortable. As a result, the Kentucky freshman torched the nets for 27 points.

“He played tough,” Sutton said. “I think he had 27 (points). We knew he was capable of doing that, but we didn’t do a good enough job of chasing him off screens and making him play uncomfortable. He’s also a big reason why they ended up winning.”

As for Richards, who finished with 13 points and ten rebounds – including several clutch baskets and free throws in overtime – Mack said he was a force down low due to his overwhelming size.

“He’s good, and he is big as hell,” Mack said. “You don’t see that size very often, and he stood next to Steve (Enoch). Steve is a couple of inches shorter. But I thought Steve played his tail off. I thought he got a deep-post position, and we went to him. He tied the game up, took the lead a couple of times, if my memory serves correct. We were trying to go him, and I know 17 shots is an awful lot for Steve, but you know, outside of a few plays he made, I thought he did the job today. He did what he needed to do. You know, Nick Richards is a good player, we tried to go at him as much as we could, and we give credit for how talented he is.”

Louisville center Steven Enoch doubled-down on Mack’s praise of Richards, calling him an “animal on the glass” and credited the 7-foot center for making life difficult for the UofL frontcourt.

“Credit to him,” Enoch said. “He’s an animal on the glass and we didn’t do as good of a job as we could’ve of boxing him out, because that’s where a lot of his opportunities came from. Other than that, I feel like he did what he’s capable of. We just have to do a better job next time around.”

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

13 Comments for Chris Mack, Louisville players praise Tyrese Maxey and Nick Richards following overtime loss



  1. 4everUKBlue
    11:05 pm December 28, 2019 Permalink

    I hope Cal shows these comments to Nick, should help him realize the problem he can be for teams.



  2. Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
    11:37 pm December 28, 2019 Permalink

    And this is why I said I didn’t dislike Mack. Anyone who gets his players to buy in to showing respect to a rival after a loss has to be respectable himself. The only thing I hate is he’s cleaning up hooker u so it makes it harder to make of them.



  3. CrystalBall
    11:45 pm December 28, 2019 Permalink

    Hard to overlook the defensive work Quickley did on Nwora. Worked very hard.



    • Aar
      8:09 am December 29, 2019 Permalink

      …and Brooks. He kept Nwora from getting anything going early. Then, he did a really good job on Sutton the rest of the way.

      As much as I like the three guard lineup, a true 6’6″-6’8″ wing is necessary against Elite Eight or better competition. That’s for defense, not necessarily offense. Brooks gave us that last night. Hopefully, Whitney figures out Cal’s D soon. We could use a dragon.



    • CrystalBall
      11:06 am December 29, 2019 Permalink

      You are right, Aar. Brooks did very good defensive work also.



  4. Cletis75
    7:10 am December 29, 2019 Permalink

    We need to double bigs like Enoch. I thought he was what kept it close. As good as Nick is defensively, that guy was torching him with that baby hook. Somebody has to drop down and make them pick up their dribble 10-12 feet out rather than back him down to 4-5ft.



    • Aar
      8:14 am December 29, 2019 Permalink

      Doubling Enoch would have left Nwora or Sutton open. I didn’t want to see either of them get going and was happy to see them resorting to their third option. Richards figured out his game and slowed him down in the last 15 minutes as well as OT.



  5. wakegupper
    7:39 am December 29, 2019 Permalink

    Cletis75, not doubling was what prevented McMahon and Nwora from getting open looks. We picked out strategy and did not waver, you only adjust if it is not working. No one has stopped McMahon and Nwora both from scoring this year (or last) and we held them to 12 combined. You make someone else beat you and we executed that. This is why Cal (very underrated) is out coach.



    • UKfanman01
      9:06 am December 29, 2019 Permalink

      It’s just not as fun when it was Pitino….. I mean, it was a phenomenal game but I just can’t dislike Mack



  6. Racerr11
    8:25 am December 29, 2019 Permalink

    The game plan was excellent but I’m not surprised that’s what Cal does. He’s a great coach one of the best. When we play hard with lots of effort we can beat anyone. We are in the hunt every year and will be as long as Cal is the coach.



  7. Racerr11
    8:28 am December 29, 2019 Permalink

    I loved papa John being behind the UK bench he got a very raw deal in Louisville . It is a travesty what they did to him. Go Papa John



  8. makeitstop
    8:40 am December 29, 2019 Permalink

    I have to agree with folks who pointed out Chris Mack is hard not to like. And if he cleans up that program it’s good for us in the long run. We don’t really compete often for in state guys (there aren’t that many), and at the elite level I’m not worried about not getting our share. Meanwhile let’s enjoy 11-2 (or 11-1) bc that’s just a great decade of domination and ton of credit to Cal who understands the importance of this game to the fans. And, as Landon Young said, we have a state across our uniform not a city.



  9. Jeffrey_M
    3:23 pm December 29, 2019 Permalink

    I 100% agree in regards to coach Mack. He’s a gentleman, and obviously a great coach, and worthy of high respect. My hat is off to him, even though he coaches the downer-Ls (at least it ain’t Duke). I’m glad he’s an in-state coach, and one of the commonwealth’s own.

    I also completely agree with the comments on “Papa” John Schnatter. I’ve actually seen him several time this year in the stands. He got a raw deal out of (the city of) Louisville, but I hope it eventually all works out for him. I really don’t know much about him personally, but I’ve always had a high level of respect for him, as he’s a local, self-made businessman (millionaire). Hat’s off to “Papa John.” Glad to see him in blue.